ELMSTEAD, North Leigh, Old Leigh Place (TR 131 471)

Felling date range:  1554-67

All timbers (2/8). Stud 1533(7+21NM);  Brace 1526(h/s). Site Master 1411-1533 OLP68M (t = 7.6 HANTS02; 7.5 LOOASQ01; 7.5 SOMRST04)            

A two-storey timber-framed house of four bays. It has a continuous jetty on three sides, now partly underbuilt, supported on solid-spandrel brackets, with a moulded dragon post. The studding is broadly-spaced with ogee tension braces, and the steep-pitched roof is hipped with gablets. Dating commissioned by the owner. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2007, VA 38, list 189)

NORTHFLEET, The Murrells, 157 Vale Road (TQ 632 730)

Felling dates:  Spring 1410

Wallplates 1409(18¼C2); Common rafters (0/3); Collar purlin (0/1); Brace (0/1). Site Master  1318-1409 MURRELLS (t = 6.2 PEMBROKE; 6.1 LONDON; STHELEN1 6.1)

Murrells is an L-plan building comprising a two-bay hall range (one bay rebuilt) and a cross-wing. The hall is has a heavily smoke-blackened crown-post roof, with the rafters sitting on double wallplates. The rafters along the front of the building have been cut off, suggesting a former jetty. The cross-wing is jettied and also has a crown post roof.   The walls are now all rendered. Dating commissioned for Angel TV for the Hidden House History series. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 177)

PENSHURST, Leicester Square, Guildhouse Cottages (TQ 527 438)

Felling dates: Spring and Summer 1490

All timbers (8/10): Floor beam 1468(H/S); Posts 1455(H/S), 1479(45+9NM); Principal rafters 1460(+23NM), 1464(H/S), 1489(28¼C); Common rafters 1489(19¼C), 1489(22½C).  Site Master 1420-1489 PNSHRST1 (t = 7.4 KSMASQ01; 7.3 BUILDWS2; 7.1 ARDEN1)

Now converted to two cottages, the building is jettied on four sides, with the jetties being supported on the front (east) side by large carved wooden brackets.  It has four large dragon beams. The property was built as a four-bay unit subsequently extended at the north end. The original roof has four bays, with smoke-blackened timbers occurring in the northern half of the second bay from the south end and in the southern half of the third bay. A large chimney has been inserted in this area. Wide windbraces are present, those on the eastern side being numbered sequentially from the south end. Dating commissioned by the Brown Matthews Partnership, Warwick. (Miles, Worthington, and Bridge 2006, VA 37, list 177)

ROCHESTER, Rochester Cathedral (TQ 742 685), Gundulf door

Felling date range: 1075-1107

Boards 1011+25NM, 1052+14NM, 1066, 1066(h/s). Site Master 936-1066 GUNDULF (t = 6.0 LONDON; 5.1 REF6; 4.7 GREENSTD)

This is a remarkably early door recently discovered by Tim Tatton-Brown leading into the north-east stair-turret in the north-east transept. It evidently had been reused c.1200 when the eastern arm of the church was extended. It consisted originally of four or five rebated planks dowelled together and nailed through the rebates. The original ironwork pattern consisted of an edging band across the top and bottom, and down the right side. Three St Andrew’s crosses are placed one above each other and three circles are placed centrally over them. In the top and bottom right corners are the remains of short scrolls. The dating almost certainly proves that the door originates from the time of Gundulf, who supervised the original construction of the cathedral from 1083. It is the earliest scientifically-dated door found in the British Isles, and is an important addition to the small corpus of Norman carpentry and joinery. The dating was commissioned by Dr Jane Geddes with a grant from the Society of Antiquaries (J. Geddes, Medieval Decorative Ironwork in England, Soc. Antiq. Research Report 59 (1999), 132-4. (Miles and Worthington 2002, VA 33, list 126)

SELLINDGE,  Talbot House (TR 1069 3770):  Inserted floor

Felling date range: 1546-66

Axial beam 1543(11); Partition head 1535(2); Joists (1/2) 1328(h/s); Transverse beam (0/1).  Site Master  1427-1543  TALBOTHS (t=6.8 PLAISTOW; 5.6 esl11; 5.5 WALES97)

A programme of detailed investigation was carried out at Grade II Listed Talbot House, Sellindge, Kent during dismantling for re-erection (within the Parish) in advance of the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.  The house originated, in the middle years of the 15th century, as a four-bay yeoman house of classic ‘Wealden’ form with a central two-bay recessed, open hall flanked by storied jettied bays below a single, fully hipped crown-post roof.  An unusual feature of the primary structure exposed during the dismantling process comprised a series of incised daub panels (including a representational human figure) set within the close-studwork of the dais partition.  The primary frame was of fast grown oak which proved unsuitable for sampling and thus this interesting feature remains undated.  A first floor with integral timber stack and adjacent winding stair were inserted in the mid-16th century, the floor survives almost complete within the extant structure.  Throughout, the carpentry of the inserted floor, though plain, is of good quality and all principal timbers display plain chamfers with stepped stops.  The timber stack was replaced in the 17th century by a double brick stack.  The recessed hall was later underbuilt in brick and the house converted into three cottages in the late 19th century.  Dating commissioned by the Oxford Archaeological Unit who are undertaking the recording of Talbot House during dismantling.

The felling date range for this site has been calculated using the 15-35 ring sapwood estimate produced by Nottingham University Tree-ring Dating Laboratory (Laxton, R R, and Litton, C D, 1989  ‘Construction of a Kent Master Chronological Sequence for Oak, 1158-1540 AD’ Medieval Archaeol, 33, 90-98, also Nottingham Statistics Group, Technical Report, 09-88 (Dept. of Mathematics, University of Nottingham) 187-194). (Miles and Worthington 2000, VA 31, list 107)